‘Get Me Roger Stone’ is as interesting as it is infuriating

Get Me Roger Stone (2017)

Directed by Dylan Bank, Daniel DiMauro, and Morgan Pehme

“Drain the swamp” my ass. If the new Netflix original documentary “Get Me Roger Stone” shows us anything, it’s that President Donald Trump has not emptied the political system of Washington, D.C. of insiders and special interests—instead, he’s fed raw meat to the slimiest and dirtiest swamp creatures, paid them for their advice, and then asked them to help him run the country. Front and center is perhaps the nastiest of them all—Roger Stone.

From his early days, explains the documentary—with interviews of all the major players: Roger Stone himself, Donald Trump, and Stone’s former law partner/Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort—Stone has been disseminating disinformation and using fear to get his way. In grade school, he won an election by telling kids his opponent wanted school on Saturdays. Since then, the political strategist has discovered or latched onto figures whom he thinks he can help succeed: Richard Nixon, Bobby Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole (obviously some were more successful than others), and his latest, Donald Trump.

Stone-isms like “Politics is entertainment for ugly people” guarantees that the doc never becomes boring. Nobody can deny Stone has a personality unlike anyone in politics—unabashedly arrogant and vulgar, dashingly stylish (but in a “Tim Burton’s Batman villain” way). And Stone has been at the epicenter of some of American politics’ biggest shake-ups—Watergate, the Florida recount after the 2000 election—but you won’t find him in history books. Pompous as he may be, he works exclusively in the shadows, dealing fatal blows to opposing campaigns at any cost. But maybe 2017 wasn’t the right time for “Get Me Roger Stone.” Right now, while the Trump administration commits almost daily atrocities, the documentary is a flow of freshly-ground salt poured straight into a gaping, still-growing wound. It’ll serve as a valuable history lesson for future generations (if America is still around by then), but for now, unless you want to hear more of Trump’s voice and be reminded that terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad men can trick and scare ignorant voters into voting for a New York billionaire serving the interests of the wealthy corporations, you’re probably best off avoiding this documentary. And the news, I guess. And the internet. God help us all.

7/10

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